Horrors: Why We Love to be Scared

Michael Arnzen
Michael Arnzen will lecture on
“The Popular Uncanny” on October 26.

Why are people attracted to stories and artwork that instill them with dread, fear, or loathing?  Michael Arnzen, a horror writer and scholar, will answer this question on Friday, October 26, in a 4:30 p.m. lecture entitled “The Popular Uncanny” at Neumann University. The presentation, scheduled for the Bruder Life Center, is free and open to the public.


Today, a hundred years after Sigmund Freud wrote his landmark essay on “The Uncanny,” the topic has become more than just an attractive and curious art form. It has become a dominant aesthetic in popular culture, from Hollywood horror films and bestselling works of frightening fiction to the banal world of everyday life in advertising and internet discourse.


In "The Popular Uncanny," Arnzen will examine the familiar notions of the doppleganger, deja vu, ghosts, and other stock elements of the uncanny that continue to haunt 21st century popular American culture.

Arnzen, a scholar of the uncanny and prolific horror writer, has won the Bram Stoker Award four times. His books include Proverbs for Monsters, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, The Gorelets Omnibus, and Play Dead


A Ph.D. in English from the University of Oregon, he teaches horror and suspense writing in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University, near Pittsburgh. He was named Professor of the Year in 2010 and is currently serving as Division Chair of Humanities.  His latest non-fiction book is a guide for writers called Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction.


His current work on "The Popular Uncanny" can be found on his website at gorelets.com.


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